DaverWattra

Fix to keep Balance useful in the age of Ebb/Flow?

38 posts in this topic

Let's take this in steps. Do you agree with me that having 20 points of Flow provides the exact same benefits as the Balance talent in every possible situation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

No

There are numerous situations where ebb and flow gives none of the benefits of Balance.

Or any benefits at all.

Do you agree that advantages being spent to recover strain renders balance completely a waste of time?

Edited by Decorus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Well the most obvious would be when you bought Balance and didn't bother to buy Flow.

The second most obvious would be anytime you use Balance since its not a skill roll to recover strain.

Then the third most obvious would be when you haven't bought the upgrade.

The Fourth would be when all your force dice are committed then Flow does nothing.

The Fifth would be when you have both and well you can't use Flow, because you are already using Balance.

Now for something that will really blow your mind. The power says it heals strain and not recovers.

That indicates it counts as a stim pack use.

Edited by Decorus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Decorus said:

The second most obvious would be anytime you use Balance since its not a skill roll to recover strain.

I see.  This may be the source of the confusion.

Recovering strain at the end of an encounter is a skill roll, which uses either Discipline or Cool skill (Force & Destiny, p. 227, section titled "Recovering From Strain").  Balance allows you to add your Force dice to this Cool/Discipline roll, recovering additional strain equal to the Force points you roll.  But because Ebb/Flow can also be used with any skill roll, it can also be used with this Cool/Discipline roll.

If you thought that recovering strain at the end of a session was not a skill roll, I can see why you thought Ebb/Flow could not duplicate the effects of Balance.  But it can.

On your other points...

57 minutes ago, Decorus said:

Well the most obvious would be when you bought Balance and didn't bother to buy Flow.

Fair enough, but the question we're debating is whether it's ever worth it to buy Balance when you could buy Flow instead.

58 minutes ago, Decorus said:

Then the third most obvious would be when you haven't bought the upgrade.

 

Again, the question is whether it's ever worthwhile to buy Balance when you could buy Flow plus that upgrade.

58 minutes ago, Decorus said:

The Fourth would be when all your force dice are committed then Flow does nothing.

 

This is also true of Balance.  Like all Force talents, Balance uses your current Force rating, which does not include any committed dice.

59 minutes ago, Decorus said:

The Fifth would be when you have both and well you can't use Flow, because you are already using Balance.

 

Fair enough, but it's equally true that you can't use Balance if you're already using Flow.  My point is that using Flow is just as good as using Balance in every situation.

1 hour ago, Decorus said:

Now for something that will really blow your mind. The power says it heals strain and not recovers.

That indicates it counts as a stim pack use.

I don't believe this is the correct interpretation of the rules.  The rulebooks seem to use "heal strain" and "recover strain" as synonyms.  For example, from the description of the Rapid Recovery talent: "When healing strain after an encounter, heal 1 additional strain per rank of Rapid Recovery."

But if there is a ruling from the devs that says otherwise, definitely point me to it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I'm still not seeing why anyone would take flow to regain strain when its so useless for that purpose.

You are arguing its better to just take flow.

I'm arguing Flow isn't even worth spending points on in the first place just to heal strain.

Edited by Decorus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you agree now that Flow has all the same strain-healing powers as Balance, plus more?

In the circles I move in, Balance was always considered a powerful talent.

Force users spend a ton of strain, especially lightsaber fighters who make heavy use of Parry and reflect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No

Because 99% of time you would never use Flow to heal strain, because you can't.

See the funny thing about combat talents for Force users is either they require you to use force pips to achieve an effect.

Or they require you to commit force dice which eliminates the use of force powers entirely.

If you brawl you will never use Flow to recover strain, because you will be committing Enhance to increase your brawn and using enhance to increase your successes and advantage on your attacks both preclude using flow.

If you use a lightsaber you will not give up the special talents that require force pips to heal strain using flow.

If you use ranged attacks same thing you are better off with the talents that use force pips then using flow.

Mechanics, Computers well there is that force power that directly gives you successes immediately so why bother with flow its crap in comparison.

In the circles I play in Balance was considered to be weak sauce, because honestly its an after combat talent and its already extremely easy to regain strain in combat as it is.

If I'm playing a face why would I give up Influence for flow?

If I'm playing a hermit am I going to use flow or am I going to pick up the survival combo thats gives me force dice on all my survival and xenology checks and lets me recover strain using survival?

If I'm playing an Aestic I would laugh at flow and Balance and how gimpy they are as I walk around like a real jedi with a lightsaber and robes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK.

I'm not saying that Flow is overpowered, I'm saying that it makes Balance obsolete. It sounds like now you agree with me about that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's cut the folderol and confusion, and talk about suffering strain (using combat encounters as an example).

There are a lot of ways to suffer strain in a fracas: through taking strain damage, through rolling numerous Threat, and from voluntarily suffering it to activate an ability or perform a second maneuver, not to mention Crippling Blow and critical injuries. It is 100% true that a lot of this strain can be mitigated by spending advantage.

But that's not always going to be the case, is it? Rolling advantage means you probably roll well, and that won't always happen. As characters progress, they will also get abilities that use advantage as fuel. Adding a boost or setback die to another character's check may also play a big difference in an encounter, more then recouping that strain. So, while you can recover strain by spending advantage, that won't always happen, either because of bad rolls or not doing it in favor of another ability. So while the option to recover strain via advantage is 100% guaranteed, the reality is it's not always reliably available.

Ergo, the Cool/Discipline check at the end of an encounter allows a character to make up for whatever they weren't able to recover. Balance is simply a conditional utility that adds to this; it won't always be useful 100% of the time, but there are circumstances where it can and will be, and that's fine.

But enter Flow. The way it appears to be written, Flow does the same thing Balance does, and for a cheaper price and you get to use it many, many more situations. Oh, and you also get Ebb.

"But why use Flow when you can do other stuff?" There are many different circumstances that a player might want to use Flow instead of another ability, too many to list or even think of. Primarily, Flow is a pretty reliable way to recover strain. If you're in lengthy combat encounter, it may make more tactical sense to spend a turn recovering strain with Flow than to make an attempt at using Hawk-Bat Swoop or whatever. Bottom line, it is not always "better" to use other abilities instead; it's whatever the situation demands.

And cost wise, Flow is cheaper. That's not an opinion, that's factual. Balance is at the end of a talent tree in 2/3 cases, so it's not only 25XP, but also the cost of whatever talents are between the start of the tree and it. Flow and the one upgrade can be purchased for 20XP at character creation, if desired. Barring the Universal Force tree, it's the cheaper option. Flow can also be cheaper if you apply mentor bonuses.

Re:Face w/ Influence as an example: If I had a Sage character with Influence and I bought into the entire Sage tree, it would be more cost effective for me to skip Balance and grab Flow instead. Not only do I get the same ability, I get more utility out of it, and I save 5XP that I maybe didn't have yet, or I can invest in something else. Picking up Flow doesn't subtract from any XP I can spend on Influence; in fact, it adds to it. Sure, 5 XP isn't much at that stage, but it can still be spent in better places.

All things being said, the most reasonable solution to me is simply restrict Flow to structured encounters only, one I'll probably use. That also prevents Flow shenanigans with other checks, as some have worried over. There's also the option to make acquiring Ebb/Flow artificially more expensive, as in a player can't just purchase it with XP, they have to find a way to learn it from a source, but that doesn't change how it works, just how quickly it gets accessed.

I also do take the stance that just because it's the optimal choice, that doesn't mean that a player will always choose to get it. Ebb/Flow just might not fit into the character concept for whatever reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except you can buy Balance for 15 points which is 5 less if you get it from the right tree.

Which has other reasons to pick it up.

So sometimes its more expensive, sometimes its cheaper its never better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Decorus said:

Except you can buy Balance for 15 points which is 5 less if you get it from the right tree.

Which has other reasons to pick it up.

So sometimes its more expensive, sometimes its cheaper its never better.

And if you have a mentor, you can get Ebb/Flow's base power for 5 less, which would also let you get the base power and the strength upgrade for 15. So they're both cheaper than the other, depending on the situation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only times when the cost/benefit to Balance is superior to Ebb/Flow is if you have worked to Intense Focus on the Exile tree, or Dedication on the Emergent tree, (because then you already have it) and don't intend to use Ebb/Flow for anything besides recovering strain at the end of an encounter.

DaverWattra likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now